The history of casino gambling in Italy is a long one indeed and, despite the illegalization of games of chance throughout the 20th century, the country today has a handful of casinos in places like Venice, San Remo, St. Vincent, and Campione d’Italia (actually located in the Lombardy region just inside Switzerland).
Like many cultural aspects of Italy, Wikipedia notes that “The history of gambling in Italy dates back to the days of the Roman Empire, when the predecessor of modern backgammon […] became popular among the Roman legionnaires.” Venice was home to the first stable gambling house in 1638 and by the end of the 18th century, the word “casino” itself had been coined in Italian.
For much of the previous century, essentially all forms of gambling were illegalized under guidelines of the Italian Criminal Law; however, in 2006, things were opened wide: Though games of chance (e.g. slot machines, keno) are still disallowed, card games based on skill and sportsbook betting were decriminalized. Thus, at Italy’s five or so casinos operating today, players may find table games and poker tables readily.